The Rolex Submariner is probably the diver’s watch that defined the genre. When it was introduced in 1953, the Submariner was the first wristwatch with a depth-rating of 100 metres. And much like the iconic Porsche 911, changes made to every new-generation Rolex model have only been incremental, never too dramatic. After teasing the release of a new Submariner on social media last month, Rolex today unveiled new updated Submariner models. The Oyster Perpetual Submariner and the Oyster Perpetual Submariner Date are now presented in a redesigned and slightly larger case and features new movements.
The archetype Submariner (Ref. 124060) has an Oystersteel (that’s what Rolex calls its corrosion-resistant alloy) case and a black Cerachrom bezel and black dial. The middle case is carved out of a single block of the aforementioned Oystersteel. The case is now 41-mm-wide, a single millimetre, more than the previous model. We suspect there’s going to be much hand-wringing about this increased size on the Internet in the coming days. The case is depth-rated to 300 metres now.
The case is fitted with a unidirectional rotatable bezel with a 60-minute graduated Cerachrom insert in black to help divers monitor their time underwater. The recessed markings and numerals on the ceramic bezel are coated with platinum via a Physical Vapour Deposition (PVD) process. The black dial’s applied hour markers and hands coated with Chromalight, a Rolex-developed luminescent material that emits a long-lasting blue glow in low-light conditions. The hour markers are in different shapes – triangles, circles and rectangles – to ensure legibility in the dark.
The watch is powered by Calibre 3230, a self-winding movement, which uses Rolex’s patented, energy efficient, magnetic-resistant Chronergy escapement. It uses the brand’s exclusive blue Parachrom hairspring, which is 10 times more precise than the traditional type. The bidirectional rotor helps the movement amass a power reserve of 70 hours. The oscillator is fitted on the Rolex-designed Paraflex shock absorbers, increasing the movements’ shock resistance.
The Submariner Date models, as the name suggests, features the brand’s characteristic Cylcops magnifying lens on the sapphire crystal. There are three Submariner Date models - the first one (Ref. 126610LV) has a green Cerachrom bezel insert and a black dial. The second Ref. 126619LB uses an 18K white gold case and a blue Cerachrom bezel. The third one is a Rolesor (what Rolex calls its two-tone model), the Ref. 126613LB uses an Oystersteel and an 18K yellow gold case. The Submariner Date models run Calibre 3235, which is essentially the 3230 with a date complication.
The new Submariners also feature a redesigned Oyster bracelet. The three-piece link bracelet has been around since the end of the 1930’s and come equipped the Oysterlock folding safety clasp to prevent accidental opening. It also features the Rolex Glidelock extension system, which comprises a rack located under the clasp cover and a toothed sliding link that locks into the chosen notch. This allows for the bracelet to be adjusted without tools, up to 20 mm.
The no date Submariner (Ref. 124060) is priced at $8,100, $9,550 (Ref. 126610LV steel with green bezel), $14,300 (Ref. 126613LB steel and yellow gold), $39,650 (126619LB white gold).